Mega-trucks in the EU threaten Switzerland too
60-tonne mega-trucks could soon be rolling across the whole of Europe. The amendment of directive 96/53 on the “maximum authorized dimensions” of road vehicles, which was presented by the European Commission on 15 April 2013, would officially permit mega-trucks up to 25 metres long to cross European borders.
Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas demonstrated last year that he is a friend of mega-trucks. At a conference of the car industry in June 2012, Kallas single-handedly changed the conventional interpretation of the old 1996 directive. Now the Commission wants to definitively legalise the cross-border use of extra-long vehicles between neighbouring states.
“Cross-border mega-trucks present a real danger for Switzerland”, says Elena Strozzi from the NoMegatrucks coalition. “Once these gigantic trucks reach our borders, our laws will fall just as rapidly as the 28-tonne limit did a few years ago.” Approval of the Commission’s proposal would be a first domino that would destabilise European transport policy.
A survey conducted in 2009 showed that 80 per cent of the Swiss people are against 60 tonne trucks. Within the EU, three quarters of the population oppose them. Despite this, the truck lobby has managed to put its favourite topic on the European agenda.
These gigantic trucks would lead to the wholesale transfer of freight from rail back onto the roads. This would result in increased CO2 emissions. Mega-trucks are also dangerous and lead to huge infrastructure costs. A study commissioned by the Swiss Federal Office of Transport (FOT) in 2011 shows that permitting mega-trucks on all Swiss roads is essentially out of the question. If they were only allowed on motorways, this would entail costs of several hundred million francs. Despite these measures, “current safety levels could not be guaranteed everywhere”, states the report. The sweet dream of logistics experts would become a dangerous nightmare for society.
More information: www.nomegatrucks.ch
→ Elena Strozzi 0041 (0)79 555 33 79